This week’s Speedo Tip of the Week is an excerpt from the January-February 2008 issue of Splash, in which correspondent Linda Hass writes about the potential effectiveness of New Year’s Resolutions.
Turn your New Year's Resolution into a tool that adds excitement to your swim experience and power to your performance in the pool. If you haven't thought of a resolution yet – or even if you have and you want to fine tune it – the new year is the perfect time to aspire to your best in the water, on the deck or with the team.
"Athletes should set goals anyway. Jan. 1 is the perfect time to take that to the next level by making a formal announcement," said Pam Braseth, head coach for the USA Bluewater Barracudas, Okaloosa County, Fla.
Bluewater coaches traditionally lead their entire team in writing down swimming-related New Year's resolutions such as race times or habits in practice. Quietly setting a goal without fanfare can also work, but public announcements give resolutions muscle by adding accountability, Braseth added.
Other keys to successful resolutions include strong commitment to a few attainable goals, plans that measure progress and taking action daily, according to a 1997 University of Washington survey on New Year's resolutions.
Once you've made a resolution, create a plan to achieve it.
"Each day brings a series of choices that can move you closer to your goal, whether it be making a special effort to streamline turns or going out of your way to encourage teammates," Braseth said.
Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) sophomore Dave Brown said anything that brings him closer to his goal of attaining 1:37 in the 200-yard freestyle is helpful, and that includes New Year's Resolutions. "Sure I'll be making one,” he said. “It couldn't hurt, and it might help."